Beach

West Shore State Park

West Shore State Park

West Shore State Park

West Shore State Park is located just outside of Lakeside, MT and is open year-round!

There, you will find glacially-carved rock outcrops within the park where you’ll have incredible views of Flathead Lake and the Mission and Swan Mountains Ranges.

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Looking to hike?

All of the hiking trails at the park are single-track dirt trails that range from steep and laborious to gradual, contoured and easy-going. Pets are welcome on a leash.

West Shore has a dock so long that boats can use it year-round (including winter!) when the lake is low. Experience the tranquil atmosphere while camping in a forest of fir, pine and larch above Flathead Lake.

There are 31 campsites available with seven being tent only. If you plan to bring your RV or trailer, make sure it’s no more than 40 feet.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Take in the unique topography of West Shore State Park on 4 miles of hiking trails along the rocky shoreline.
  • Bring your joint state/tribal fishing license and take your shot at catching dinner from the lake!
  • Spend a day on the lake and rent a kayak or canoe from Sea Me Paddle in Lakeside or at the Park during the summer.
  • Enjoy the beach and then cool off with a dip in chilly Flathead Lake.
  • Check out the local wildlife, including great birdwatching!

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • Day use Open Year-Round
  • 129 Acres
  • ADA Accessible
  • Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Flush & Vault)
  • Water
  • Boat Launch
  • RV Hookups
  • Boat Launch & Dock
  • Plus so much more!

West Shore has a dock so long that boats can use it year-round (including winter!) when the lake is low. Experience the tranquil atmosphere while camping in a forest of fir, pine and larch above Flathead Lake.

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"We just stopped here to relax a bit. The park is in a nice forest with lake access. There is also a small trail inside the park which leads to a nice vista point."

"This Lake brings back so many childhood memories there is a single spot of this like that I don't love!"

"Good trails. Beautiful shore line. Camping spots look good, not too close together."

"SO pretty!!! I just want to LIVE here!"

 

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    Park

    Open Year-Round

    Campground 
    Open May-October

    Additional Information 
    Electricity at Campsites Until 11/1
    Potable Water Available Until 10/1

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    Location

    17768 MT Hwy 93 Lakeside, MT 59922

West Shore State Park

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Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan State Park is just seven miles west of Flathead Lake. This park offers a quiet camping opportunity nestled among a boreal forest. This state park is noted for its fishing and numerous trails that lead into the surrounding areas which abound in wildflowers and wildlife.

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Looking to camp?

Lake Mary Ronan State Park's campground offers 25 campsites, including seasonal electricity at individual campsites, a paved campground road and spurs, plus a new and improved group camping area, boat trailer parking and a boating ramp.
This state park is on 120 acres at an elevation of 3,770 ft.

Off the beaten path just 7 miles west of Flathead Lake, this park is shaded by Douglas fir and western larch.
Lake Mary Ronan provides a quiet opportunity for relaxing, camping, and fishing from either a boat or the parks boat dock. A hiking trail leads into the surrounding area which abound with wildflowers and wildlife.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Beach
  • Bird Hunting
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Ice Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Fishing
  • Motor Boating
  • Nature
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • RV Camping
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming
  • Tent Camping

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • ADA Accessible
  • Bear Resistant Storage Lockers
  • Boat Launch
  • Campsite
  • Camp Host
  • Dock
  • Electricity
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Group Use Rentals
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Tables
  • Public Restroom
  • RV Hookups
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trash Cans
  • Trash Removal
  • Water
  • Plus so much more!

Several businesses near the park offer a variety of services including food, beverages, bait, and more.

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"One of my families favorite places to camp. Fishing is great and the campground is quiet"

"Beautiful lodge ,great amenities, extremely lovely and helpful staff. Very excited to come back for a longer stay!"

"Stopped to check out the state campground and lake, very beautiful and peaceful. Dennis, park host, very friendly and knowledgeable of the lake, fishing and surrounding areas. My husband and I are looking forward to camping there."

"Beautiful location. Friendly hosts. Always kept clean and tidy."

 

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    Park

    Open

    Campground 

    Opening May 1.

    Electricity 

    Available through October.

    Potable water 

    Available May through September.

    Dock

    Available for the season.

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    Location

    50623 Lake Mary Ronan Rd. Dayton, MT 59860

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

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Lake Elmo State Park

Lake Elmo State Park

Lake Elmo State Park

Inside the city limits of Billings is Lake Elmo State Park. A large 64-acre reservoir, Lake Elmo is the perfect place to swim, paddle, fish, picnic, bird watch, or hike the 1.4-mile nature trail.  The Lake, originally known as Holling Lake Reservoir, was constructed to provide water to irrigated farmland as part of the Carey Land Act of 1894.  The water that fills the man-made lake is diverted from the Yellowstone River near Laurel, MT, and flows through 63 miles of gravity-fed canals before reaching the lake.

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Things to do:

Prior to becoming a State Park in 1983, Lake Elmo was once the site of a two-story restaurant and night club known for dancing, big band music, and two-inch thick T-bone steaks.  Nearby property owners created beaches for swimming and even cleared snow from the lake in the winter to host ice skating.  At once point a thriving boat club was formed by local water skiing and motor boating enthusiasts.

The Regional Office for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is now located in the park.  The Regional Office houses an impressive collection of taxidermied birds, fish, and wildlife.  You can also purchase conservation licenses and apply for permits at the office which is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Bird Watching
  • Boating, canoeing, kayaking or sailing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Paddleboarding or windsurfing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Plus so much more!

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • Open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Year-Round
  • ADA Accessible
  • Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Vault & Flush)
  • Showers
  • Maps
  • Water

A special feature of Lake Elmo is its Dog Park. The 200-square-foot fenced-in area includes a water area and is located on the west side of the lake. Each visitor is allowed a maximum of two dogs in this special area. Dogs must be 4 months or older. Dogs must be on a leash in all other areas of Lake Elmo State Park.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Lake Elmo Supper Club drew people for dining, dancing, and watching water skiers just out the back door. The Supper Club burned down in 1946, but Lake Elmo continues to be a popular place today.

The reservoir was constructed in 1906 and serves as the storage basin for the Billings Bench Water Association. 

Your four-legged friends will love Lake Elmo State Park as much as you! The dog park at Lake Elmo is a 200-square-foot fenced area that includes access to the water located on the west side of the lake. You and two of your furry friends are allowed to run off-leash in this area, but must be on a leash in all other parts of the park. 

During the summer, the lake is stocked with fish regularly and Roger’s Pier is an excellent fishing spot on the south shore of the lake. And although a popular place to cool off in the summer, the lake can be accessed from many points which means these parks never feel too overcrowded. 

Only non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake though, so you won’t find any water skiing here like you could in the 30s and 40s!

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"It's basically on the outskirts of town. Fair sized, man made lake with stocked, variety of fish. No motorized craft allowed on the lake. There are picnic shelters, kids play ground, paved parking and restrooms. The water's edge is a work in progress with some beach areas and a boat ramp. No overnight camping. A great day trip."

"I really like this lake, not only is it large enough to explore it has great picknick areas, walking trails. It's very clean and well taken care of."

"Great family place. Canoeing, swimming, and just fun in the sun with people you care about."

"A beautiful lake right in town and watching the sunset there was breathtaking."

 

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    Park

    Open Year-Round

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    Location

    2300 Lake Elmo Drive Billings, MT 59105

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Lake Elmo State Park

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Frenchtown Pond State Park

Frenchtown Pond State Park

Frenchtown Pond State Park

Located about ten miles northwest of Missoula, MT Frenchtown Pond State Park is a 41 acre, day-use recreational area where you can swim, boat, and fish. The pond itself is a natural spring-fed lake with a maximum depth of about 18 feet.

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Looking to fish?

A variety of fish including; sunfish, bass, and bullhead provide fair catches throughout the year. Frenchtown Pond State Park is also a favorite place for visitors to practice stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling.

Frenchtown Pond became a state park in 1972. They often host local events for youth and families.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Beach
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Ice Skating
  • Picnicking
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife Viewing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • ADA Accessible
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Parking
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Public Restroom
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trash Removal
  • Water
  • Plus so much more!

The Frenchtown area was settled by French-Canadian settlers in 1858 after being pushed out of their original settlements by political unrest in the west.

The area was given the name by American (USA) settlers based on the ethnicity and language of the settlers. Currently, fewer than 2000 people reside in the area (US Census, 2010).

The area is home to many scattered ghost towns which fell when the local mining boom cooled off. Most notable of these ghost towns is Hellgate. The first major settlement. The land was rich with gold and fur. The valley lined with timber.

The area flourished and is considered to be the home of the first (state-legal) wedding of white-American settlers in the state of Montana (1862) and the birthplace of the first white-American "Montanan" earlier that same year. Before this, the area was predominately French-Canadian and Native American, which frequently intermarried and settled in the area north of Frenchtown in what is now the Flathead Indian reservation, home to the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles tribes (also known as the "Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation").

Hellgate became a rough and tumble kind of place and was frequently ravaged by the infamous Henry Plummer Gang. Vigilantes roamed wild dispensing sudden and violent "justice" whenever they felt it necessary.

The area became so notorious that when a scuffle with some of the Pend d'Oreilles tribe led to the death of a prospector, the tribe forced the chief to surrender his son (who led the group involved in the scuffle). After a very brief trial, the boy was hung in town.

As the area prospered, trade moved southeast towards what is now Missoula, MT. Camels were often used to transport goods between the two places.

The town fell to ruin almost overnight as people packed up and moved south to the more economically stable Missoula, which acquired the county seat from Hellgate in 1865 a mere ten years after its official settlement and only five short years from when Hellgate was granted the title.

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Great state park super well maintained, clean bathrooms and a rinsing station"

"I wish I lived close to this park! A Montana resident pays nothing and out of state was a whopping $6.00. What value. We took a gaggle of kids swimming and had hours of fun. Please go enjoy this little gem! Swim, kayak, paddle board, fish, walk or picnic."

"Such a lovely state park with a dandy playground. Then we went down to the pond. The kids went swimming. We saw others with kayaks. It was so pleasant to eat a picnic lunch there. I would return."

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    Park

    Day use only
    No camping
    Open all year
    5/1 - 9/30: 9am - 9pm
    10/1 - 4/30: 6am -7pm

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    Location

    18401 Frenchtown Frontage Road Frenchtown, MT 59834

Frenchtown Pond State Park

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Finley Point State Park

Finley Point State Park

Finley Point State Park

Located on a narrow point on the south side of Flathead Lake, Finley Point is an ideal park for boaters and RV campers.

Finley Point is one of Montana's oldest state parks and has been open to the public since July 12th, 1965. The park is known as an excellent fishing location for Lake Trout and Kokanee Salmon. Anglers should note that state and tribal fishing licenses are required for fishing in the area.

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Looking to boat?

Boaters can rent a slip in the marina, some of which offer electric and water hookups for those camping on their boats. Along with the camping slips, the marina also offers 12 boat slips without electricity.

Camping, boating, and other visitor facilities at Finley Point State Park were recently rebuilt or expanded by WGM Group of Missoula, MT.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Water Available Mid-May to September 30
  • Dock Available Mid-June to Early-September
  • 28 Acres

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • ADA Accessible
  • Pets Allowed
  • Water
  • Toilets (Flush & Vault)
  • Boat Launch and Dock
  • RV Hookups
  • Firewood for Sale

The new park layout and expanded facilities allow for more visitors to enjoy the park without feeling crowded and reducing impacts on sensitive lakeshore habitat.

Thinking of camping? Finley Point offers 18 RV campsites, seven tent sites and four boat camping slips. Maximum RV length will vary by campsite, so be sure to check out the ReserveAmerica website for additional details. 

MT State Parks Rangers frequently host interpretive storytelling and other special events at the park.  These programs usually take place in the evening and are free to registered campers at the park.  

While in close proximity to Polson and very busy during the summer months, Finley Point’s mature conifer forest helps the campground feel secluded. 

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"One simple word “AMAZING!” We love Finely Point!!"

"Beautiful scenic area, even if it's for a quick stop on your road trip. There was also an amazing massive field of pinkish flowers just on the north end of it when we were there!"

"The site was amazing!! It had amazing views right on the shore."

"Nice sites and many close to the water. Trees, nice base for tents. Dogs ok"

 

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    Park

    Open May 1 to September 30

    Campground

    Open May 1 to September 30

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    Location

    31453 S. Finley Point Rd. Finley Pt., MT 59806

Finley Point State Park

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